FAQ about international movers you should know
Moving overseas is probably one of the most difficult tasks you will have encountered in your lifetime. That is why it is of utmost importance to find a reliable moving company that will help you with this. Unfortunately, finding reliable international movers is more difficult than you think. So Master Moving Guide prepared FAQ about international movers you should know that will help you find a trustworthy company and ensure a smooth and carefree move regardless of the distance you are moving to.
List of FAQ about international movers you need to ask before the process starts
The first thing you need to understand is that not every moving company offers international moving services. International moving is a completely different game than domestic relocations. Therefore, you will need to find international movers that offer international moving services. And, most of the time, you will need to find a moving company that exclusively deals with international relocations. Still, because of the complicity of the process, you should make sure that the moving company you are hiring is actually capable of handling your move properly. And that is why you need to learn about these FAQ about international movers before you begin your search. Here are the things you need to know:
- Do you have the proper license for providing international moving services?
- How long has your company been in operation and how much experience do you have on this particular route?
- Besides online estimates, does your company provide in-house estimates?
- How is your company determining the price of my move and what moving services are included in the price?
- Do I need to pay a deposit and is this refundable if my move is canceled?
- Who is in charge of packing and are there any items that your moving company won’t transport?
- Do you have any special protocols for protecting valuable and breakable items?
- How will my shipment travel
- Do you do door-to-door shipping and who will be picking up my shipment at the destination port?
- Who is responsible for the customs clearance of my goods?
- Do I have to be present when my goods get to customs?
- What kind of storage services your company provides?
- Do you offer moving insurance?
Does your moving company own proper licenses for providing international moving services?
You would imagine that every moving company has proper licenses. And even if they try to operate without it they would quickly be caught and banned from operating. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. That is why one of the most important FAQ about international movers you need to ask before you hire a mover is whether they have proper licenses. Naturally, every international mover that is operating according to the law will be more than happy to provide you with their credentials. If you see that they are trying to avoid the question, move on to the next moving company on your list.
How old is your company and have you done relocations to this country before?
International moving is particularly complicated. Therefore, experience plays a big role in the final outcome. Not only that a moving company needs to know the whole process and how to overcome possible obstacles, but they also need to be well connected and have reliable partners all around the world. Another thing that you want to ask them is whether they have experience working with relocations in the particular country you are moving to. It is not the same to move from the US to France and to move to South Africa. Every country has different laws and regulations and you could easily get in trouble if your movers are not well acquainted with your country’s regulations.
Will you do an in-home estimate?
Many moving companies offer online estimates these days. It is quick and easy and offers you an opportunity to compare moving quotes from several moving service providers at once. However, sometimes it’s better to do an in-home estimate. At least after you get a free quote online. An in-home estimate is more precise and will give your movers a better insight into your moving inventory. Also, if you see that a moving company doesn’t offer in-home moving estimates, that should definitely be a red flag and a sign that you need to find another company to help you.
How is your company calculating the price and what moving services are included?
There are many factors that can determine the cost of your move. The weight of your moving inventory, volume, mileage that needs to be crossed, the number of services that are included, the type of carrier, etc. That is why one of the important FAQ about international movers you need to ask is how they are determining the price. This will also give you an answer about the services that are included. You would be surprised about the difference in prices you can find between two seemingly similar moving companies. So make sure that you ask those questions before you start preparing your moving budget.
Do I need to place a deposit and what happens with it if my move is canceled?
Most international moving companies will ask for a deposit to be paid upfront. And, of course, the size of the deposit will vary between companies. Because an international move can cost several thousand, the size of the deposit can be a significant item when you are preparing your moving costs checklist. So make sure that you check this before you hire a moving company. Also, check what will happen with your deposit in case your move is called off. Some companies will return it completely while some may want to keep a certain percentage, depending on the time of cancelation.
Who will prepare my items for transport?
When moving overseas, your items will be under a lot of stress. Especially if they will travel via sea. That is why proper packing is crucial. Luckily, some international moving companies, offer packing and crating services. However, some of them don’t. That is why another about international movers you need to ask is whether they provide packing services. If they don’t, that means that you will be in charge of packing. This can be time consuming and tiring process. Especially when you need to pack your items for an international move.
So, if you end up deciding to hire that company despite the fact that they don’t do packing, make sure that you read so good packing tips and find proper packing materials that will keep your items safe. Also, before you start packing, ask your movers if there are any items they won’t transport. If there are, make sure that you dispose of those items before you start packing.
How do you protect valuables and fragile items?
Another FAQ about international movers you need to ask before you start packing is whether they have special protocols for handling valuable and fragile items. As we already mentioned, overseas travel can be very stressful for your items, especially if they are being transported via sea. So make sure that your movers will know how to keep your delicate items safe even in the harshest conditions.
How do you transport my items?
There are actually a few ways your shipment can travel. Via sea, via air, or in some cases via road, or rail. Naturally, if you are moving from USA to Europe, Africa, Australia, or Asia, you have only two options. Of course, the most common way of overseas shipping is via sea. That is the cheapest way to ship your items but it is also the slowest. If you want to send your items via plane, you will pay more but your items will arrive sooner. Still, air shipping requires more paperwork and there will be more items that you cannot ship. So ask your movers about it and make sure that you make the right choice.
Do you provide door-to-door delivery service?
Most international moving companies do door-to-door shipping. This means that a truck will arrive at your home, pick up your belongings, and take them to port. There, your items will be loaded into a cargo ship and delivered to a destination port. Then, your items will be unloaded into a customs warehouse where they will wait until they are customs cleared. Finally, once the paperwork is complete, another truck will pick up your items and deliver them to you. Check with your movers if that is how they operate. Because in some cases, you will need to go to a customs warehouse and pick up your stuff by yourself. And that is certainly a thing that you want to avoid.
Can you handle the customs clearance process?
We already mentioned that once your items are unloaded from a ship or plane they will be transported to a customs warehouse. There, your items will wait until the customs service clears them out. That is where complications actually start. And that is where you will need professional help if you want to finish that as soon as possible and without any issues or paying some fines. Luckily, some moving companies offer customs clearance services where they will prepare all the paperwork and handle the process but it will also increase your moving costs. Bear in mind that experienced movers have good connections and can therefore speed up the process and avoid possible issues.
Do I need to be present during the customs clearance process?
Another important FAQ about international movers you need to ask is whether you will need to be present during a customs clearance process. Maybe you will not be in the country when the process starts. That can be a big problem if you need to be present. So make sure that you ask your movers about it before everything starts so you can plan your schedule accordingly.
Do you provide storage services?
International relocations require a lot of planning and scheduling. Oftentimes, people move to another country without actually finding a permanent residence. If you will be staying in temporary accommodation at first, you will need a place to store your possessions until you find a home. Now, you can probably easily find storage space in almost every country in the world. But the best and most organized moving companies will have their own storage space to offer. Or they will at least be able to hook you up with some good local storage service provider. That is a much easier and quicker way to find a storage space than looking for storage facilities in a new country on your own.
What type of insurance do you provide?
Finally, maybe one of the most important questions you need to ask your international movers is whether they offer moving insurance. Even the most reputable moving companies make mistakes. And if damage occurs, you would want to have proper insurance that will cover the damage. Of course, you can always find a third-party insurance company and get a good moving insurance plan there. But getting it directly from your moving company is always the best and safest option.
Now you know everything about hiring international movers – Good luck!
As you can see, because international moving is so complicated, there are many FAQ about international movers you need to be aware of. Hopefully, this article shed some light on the subject and will help you get through your upcoming move in a smooth and stress-free fashion. Good luck.